Getting in Character … August 31st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


hand taking an oath

From Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage and all the men and women, merely players.”

  • I promise.
  • Cross my heart and hope to die.
  • I swear by my mother’s grave.
  • And some bizarre confirmation of truthfulness by “sticking a needle in one’s eye.”

These are the pledges and contortions that people seem to be willing to put themselves through to get others to comprehend the level of their faithfulness.

But unfortunately, even though “promise” seems promising, it is now often accompanied by a forlorn adjective: “broken.”

  • Broken promises.
  • Broken marital vows.
  • Broken dreams.

So as an actor on the stage of life, what is our responsibility to those around us, to prove the intensity of our veracity? For you see, the problem with a promise is that it fails to recognize that the person sharing it is human, not divine. Every time we try to take on the job description of our Creator, we create nothing but fiasco.

Only God can promise. Only God has the ability to perform His beckoning without ever needing to swear or vow.

As a human being, you have three available, realistic responses:

1. Yes.

“Yes” should only be used when we actually plan on doing it because it is in the spectrum of our own will and concerns. It may seem noble to say yes because we’ve been pressured into it, but then what you have is a promise, which may be difficult to keep.

2. No.

No, I’m not interested.

No, I won’t.

No, I can’t.

No, I shouldn’t.

“No” is one of the more powerful words in the English language because it eliminates 90% of our hypocrisy. If we had said no to that thing we really didn’t intend to do in the first place, people would not be able to hang anything over our heads in judgment.

3. I don’t know.

Ignorance is not bliss unless you admit it. If you’re caught, it’s in the neighborhood of sin.

There is a great authority given to us by admitting that we just don’t have enough information to make an intelligent decision. We will sit, learn and wait for the power to be intelligent instead of impetuous.

Since we do not control all the factors that surround us, it is better to forego the foolishness of promises … and therefore escape that nasty needle in the eye.


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